Thomas V. Claringbold II, D.O., is a board certified ophthalmologist with specialized training in medical and surgical care of the eyes. He currently sees patients in Clare and Houghton Lake.
Becoming an ophthalmologist wasn’t always Dr. Claringbold’s primary goal. Before going into medicine, he attended Central Michigan University majoring in sports medicine.
He then attended Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine with the intention of becoming a family physician. It was during medical school that Dr. Claringbold was first exposed to ophthalmology, which inspired him to make the change.
“Before long, I realized my true love was ophthalmology,” said Dr. Claringbold, “so the next year I joined the residency program at Bi-County Hospital in Warren, Michigan.”
Philosophy of Care
Growing up in the Detroit metropolitan area, it was uncommon for Dr. Claringbold to leave his house and run into anyone he knew. He used to think there was a certain safety and comfort in being anonymous. Now, practicing medicine in a small town, he can’t leave his house without running into patients. “I’ve come to really appreciate and value the sense of community in having everybody know my name,” he said. “To my patients, I’m more than just their ophthalmologist, I’m a real person. I’m someone who puts on a costume to promote the local arts council or who helps coach their kids’ soccer team. The Clare community has opened its arms to me and my family and enchanted us with its charm.”
According to Dr. Claringbold, his family was the driving force behind his decision to be a rural doctor. “We have really come to enjoy small town living and over the years the local residents have essentially become our extended family,” he said. “It’s easy to treat your patients like family when they feel like family. I truly enjoy getting to know them and being part of the community they call home.”
Special Interests and Procedures
Dr. Claringbold has special training in a number of areas in ophthalmology. For example, he spent six months learning pediatric ophthalmology at Children’s Hospital in Detroit, three times the standard two month rotation. His areas of interest include general and pediatric ophthalmology, oculoplastic surgery (eyelid repair of any kind, repair of droopy eyelids, repair of trauma to the eyelid, reducing excessive tearing and more), cataract and refractive surgery and retinal laser surgery to treat damage to the eye caused by diabetes or macular degeneration.
He also performs LASEK surgery, a procedure that reshapes the cornea of the eye with a laser beam to correct or improve nearsightedness.
Dr. Claringbold and his family live in the Clare community and are involved in a variety of community activities, including the local arts council. In addition to participating in local seasonal community festivities, he and his family also enjoy taking weekend trips downstate.